Tricounty News

May 24 Update

Legislative Update:

The legislative session came to a close this week with some major wins for Greater Minnesota education. The K-12 Omnibus Bill is packed with changes that will affect our school district.  I’ve dissected some of the approved funding and provided the following highlights:

• 1.5 percent & 1.5 percent on the formula in FY ’14 and FY ’15 

• All Day-Every Day Kindergarten funded in FY ’15 with K pupils weighted at 1.0

• Simplified pupil weighting factors of K-6 at 1.0 and 7-12 at 1.2 in FY ‘15

• Early Learning Scholarships for children ages 3-5 in families whose income falls below 185 percent of the poverty level

• Funding for Special Education cross-subsidy

• School lunch reimbursement increases of a one-half cent

• Safe schools and mental health funding increase of $6 per pupil unit and expands the use

• GRAD Rule repealed as recommended by Assessment and Accountability Working Group

• GRAD tests and required cut scores are repealed, adding transition period for graduating class of ’14-16 with a mixture of tests. Beginning with graduating class of ’17 (eighth graders in ’13-14) to include career assessments aligned with college readiness benchmarks, student progress recorded on transcript, career and college counseling required

• Authorized possession and use of epinephrine auto injectors

Strategic Planning:

We’re very pleased to have had an engaged group of 40 community stakeholders participate in the second of three strategic planning sessions. The community group was challenged to carefully examine measures to continuously improve programming, services, and opportunities available through the EV-W school system. The group was charged with the task of prioritizing educational initiatives, and identifying the current strengths and weaknesses of the district. Group feedback will be used to generate action outcomes and future initiatives.

If you’d like to take part in our last session, please join us on
May 29 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Elementary Cafeteria to share your feedback and values as we develop our strategic plan.  We would be honored to have you join us for refreshments and sandwiches as we shape the future for our school district.

Carbon Cutting Club:

I’m excited to announce that the EV-W Carbon Cutting Club has won an award for Big-Bang projects in this year’s Energy Action Competition! I appreciate all the hard work the team and their advisor, Mike Eveslage have committed toward recycling projects.

On Monday, April 29, Carbon Cutting students Abbie Swenson, Patrick Latcham, Bree Kalahar, Nathan Utecht, and Joey Kuechle had a video conference competition to present the projects Carbon Cutting implemented throughout the school year. They represented our communities and presented the recycling information extremely well and were rewarded with “Big Bang” recognition for placing used oil recycling tanks on city property by the current city maintenance garage on the south side of Hwy 55. The project was well received by the community and many of the city council members.

Congratulations to the team for making such great strides in our community and school!

Senior of the Week:

The EV-W School District would like to recognize Travis Linn, son of Brian and Joan Travis demonstrates outstanding academic performance and is currently enrolled in 4 college/honor classes. He’s an active member in the school’s National Honor Society, and also contributes to the varsity baseball team. EV-W students and staff commend Travis on his respectful demeanor and willingness to help others. Travis plans to attend Brainerd Community College and pursue the DNR enforcement program. The EV-W administration, faculty and staff are extremely proud of your accomplishments. Congratulations!